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TheConceptBoy

Can we do a fund-raiser to get (Blender / Unreal Engine) Material Editor tool alongside the standard Shader code?

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This does not seem very good at all. Why would you create all this complexity?

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The example you gave was that you do not want to create a metalness map, because it is too much trouble. I don't have any idea what the process of making these is actually like, but is this really something that occurs commonly? It sounds like you are describing big problems in the 2D art pipeline if it is really that much trouble.

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7 minutes ago, Josh said:

This does not seem very good at all. Why would you create all this complexity?

Well.. how many people on this forum / Leadwerks users have created something spectacular in terms of a visual presentation and aesthetic using leadwerks? The Bar for entry to getting stunning visual effects in Unreal Engine is pretty stoupendously low because they went through the trouble of creating the Material Editor that  anyone can use. Take a look at youtube. It's Filled to the Brim with material tutorials for all sorts of effects. Same thing with Blender Shader Editor (also Node Based). 

 

Now take literally any other engine that relies on the users bare extensive knowledge if shader coding for creating these effects. And then search the Internet for any sort of effects made in that engine. It's a matter of accessibility. The Bar for Entry into shader effects / materials is pretty high.

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But you said all you need is to rearrange some channels. It sounds like there is a lot of functionality more that would have to be implemented to be useful.

(I'm just trying to get a good understanding of where you are coming from. Thank you for the input.)

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It looks like there are thousands of different options in that thing. Seems like it would take a very long time.

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11 minutes ago, Josh said:

But you said all you need is to rearrange some channels. It sounds like there is a lot of functionality more that would have to be implemented to be useful.

(I'm just trying to get a good understanding of where you are coming from. Thank you for the input.)

Well yes, its most likely not as simple as taking a Red Channel, which is a value between 0-255 and plugging it into Metalic, which takes god knows what values, there will be a lot of in-between compatibility that Turbo would have to handle for the user.

7 minutes ago, Josh said:

It looks like there are thousands of different options in that thing. Seems like it would take a very long time.

It is indeed and I most likely would. Hence why I suggested doing a kick-starter for the additional feature, perhaps you'd be able to get some hired help. But I hope that the potential of this tool is visible at least. There's a reason why Both Blender Unreal and possibly unity (Which I do understand are engines developed by large dev teams) offes so much flexibility and have such a colossal abundance of on-line resources  available. These node based tools have a very low barrier for entry. The key selling point is - easily create stunning materials and effects.

 

It's either that or investing what is possibly an equivalently large amount of time into creating an extensive library of shader materials/effects with Uniform parameters to cover for that flexibility.

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This is a very interesting discussion because it touches on our whole strategy.

You are missing something that is in large part a result of network effects of UE. If I were to create the exact same thing, it would not get used much, because it would just be a copy of something else, without a big network of people driving it.

I believe the only way for us to gain massive success, not just middling success, is to win based on performance. That is actually something that plays to our strengths and the competition's weaknesses, because they are spread so thin and can't rip out their entire system like I did.

Now if I can finish this system, and we are getting a lot closer now, then I can go back to some companies I know and basically say "You have to pay me" and they will happily buy because I am offering something that solves all their very serious problems. Then I have money to spend on programmers and the cycle starts ramping up. But that is really the only way it can be done.

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Do you think the indie person messing around (the main client base of LE) really cares this much about speed? I can get all the speed in the world but if I have to jump through all these hoops to get gameplay then it doesn't matter to me. I care more about less effort on my part to get something good up and running than I do speed. It doesn't matter how fast my game runs if I don't really even have a game because it takes so long to do certain things or the things aren't easy to use or flexible enough for my use case.

The below isn't to slam your creations it's to show my opinion on the state of LE.

Let's look at in game UI. The flexibility of the current UI comes at the cost of learning a proprietary library that really isn't easily flexible for all sorts of needs. Why? html/css is becoming the norm for game UI and for good reason. Everyone under the sun knows some html/css and it's the most discussed technology topic on the internet so if you don't know how to do something it's sure that you can easily find a stackoverflow post on how to do it. It's the ultimate in flexibility at pretty low cost. There are already tons of libraries out there (bootstrap) that help make it even easier and it's easier to get dynamic interesting UI vs gray buttons. You can defend your system all you want but in the world of game engines this UI is very low on that list. Why reinvent the UI wheel when html/css/javascript has done such a great job with it and has a massive history to draw from for knowledge.

There is no question you like doing gfx programming. This is clearly your favorite part about a game engine and it shows in your blogs and posts. You can just see the excitement coming off those pages. You view this as the most important part and to a large extent it is, but you can't piece mail these other systems just to get a bullet point on a list of what the product can do and expect this to become any sort of massively successful product. Those other systems require just as much attention you give to the gfx programming side of things, but it seems like it's not your strongest skillset since you don't have as strong a passion for them. From my perspective understanding that and addressing that in some way will go a long way for LE.

 

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For my part (and I think some others who posted about this in the past) I would love a significant speed increase.  It always feels like we're on a light/shadow/bone/quality budget so that we can get above 30fps once we start setting a scene up.

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4 hours ago, Rick said:

Do you think the indie person messing around (the main client base of LE) really cares this much about speed? I can get all the speed in the world but if I have to jump through all these hoops to get gameplay then it doesn't matter to me. I care more about less effort on my part to get something good up and running than I do speed. It doesn't matter how fast my game runs if I don't really even have a game because it takes so long to do certain things or the things aren't easy to use or flexible enough for my use case.

This one part I do have to agree with to a degree. To put it into another words, It's great that the engine out performs any other engine else. But if it takes a rocket scientist to operate it (and by it, i mean the shader part), then it's kinda a moot point. With that being said, it is really only relevant for the Indie game dev market which Leadwerks is trying to win over. I'm sure your top tier industrial clients (who are funding Leadwerks none the less) have the technical know how, on how to create nice looking shader materials in code and thus, for them, the presence of that material editor will be a moot point. 

 

Just for an example, these materials took me perhaps 15 minutes of experimentation to make:

I wonder how long it would take to create that same stuff in LW using GLSL.. There's all sorts of stuff here, tessellation, additive blending of a couple noise textures, animated parameters etc.

 

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If speed is not a big priority to them, there is no way to win them over anyways. If they are doing anything VR it is critical, which is why I am focusing on those people most.

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5 minutes ago, Josh said:

If speed is not a big priority to them, there is no way to win them over anyways. If they are doing anything VR it is critical, which is why I am focusing on those people most.

If that's what it takes to keep the project alive then by any means. Just hoping at some point in the future I can create the same stuff as easily in LW as I did in UE.

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